I’m a politic geek: watch all the debates, listen to talk radio, stream CSPAN, and love to debate. BTW, I’m a woman who votes. Last week Tuesday in the second presidential debate, Romney made a unwise comment that included the phrase “…binder full of women…” Less than 30 minutes after the debate, the website www.bindersfullofwomen.tumblr.com was created.
Why all the uproar? If you’re asking then do your research.
From the www.politico.com debate transcripts, Mitt Romney: “Thank you. And important topic, and one which I learned a great deal about, particularly as I was serving as governor of my state, because I had the chance to pull together a cabinet and all the applicants seemed to be men. And I — and I went to my staff, and I said, ‘How come all the people for these jobs are — are all men.’ They said, ‘Well, these are the people that have the qualifications.’ And I said, Well, gosh, can’t we — can’t we find some — some women that are also qualified? And — and so we — we took a concerted effort to go out and find women who had backgrounds that could be qualified to become members of our cabinet. I went to a number of women’s groups and said, ‘Can you help us find folks,’ and they brought us whole binders full of women.”
Romney went on to say that he’s a flexible employer and allowed the ladies to get home by 5 o’clock to make dinner for their kids. Really? There are fathers that might want to get home to help with family. Flexibility should be for both sexes not just one. Also what about same sex couples? Do the standards change for them? Romney seems to think marriage helps families morally and economically. So why not allow marriage equality for everyone?
Meanwhile, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan didn’t support the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 which allows a person who has faced discrimination to sue within 180 days of every paycheck. The old law stated that a person had to sue within the first 180 days of employment. We all know that discrimination happens within the first 180 days on a job (sense my cynicism).
President Obama at the debate: “…In my health care bill, I said insurance companies need to provide contraceptive coverage to everybody who is insured. Because this is not just a — a health issue, it’s an economic issue for women. It makes a difference. This is money out of that family’s pocket. Governor Romney not only opposed it, he suggested that in fact employers should be able to make the decision as to whether or not a woman gets contraception through her insurance coverage. That’s not the kind of advocacy that women need. When Governor Romney says that we should eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, there are millions of women all across the country, who rely on Planned Parenthood for, not just contraceptive care, they rely on it for mammograms, for cervical cancer screenings. That’s a pocketbook issue for women and families all across the country. And it makes a difference in terms of how well and effectively women are able to work. When we talk about child care, and the credits that we’re providing. That makes a difference in whether they can go out there and — and earn a living for their family. These are not just women’s issues. These are family issues. These are economic issues. And one of the things that makes us grow as an economy is when everybody participates and women are getting the same fair deal as men are.”
*FACT ALERT* According to Bob Salsberg of The Boston Globe: “A coalition of Massachusetts women’s groups says GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney did, in fact, receive binders with the names of potential female candidates for high-level positions when he was governor…But representatives of the Massachusetts Government Appointments Project note the effort, which did increase the number of women in top positions, started before Romney was elected in 2002. MassGAP describes itself as a nonpartisan coalition of women’s groups.” Another Etch-a-Sketch moment Romney? It doesn’t surprise me that he would say anything to please the crowd in front of him.
Anyways, I’ve got a big binder of rejection letters from working hard. Also, I know plenty of qualified women that don’t need to be displayed in a binder. Mitt Romney just needs to stop, look, and think. His comments are insensitive and will result in people dressed as “binders full of women” for Halloween. Unquestionably, no trick or treat for women.